Summer can feel very lonely if you’re not in a place where you have friends with whom to go out. You might see other people going to the beach, travelling, having fun, and relaxing, and comparatively, you wish you had just a fraction of that.
It’s a hard place to be in, I know from experience.
You never feel that “social void” as much as in the summer when everybody else is having the fun of their lives.
Some people recommend solo travel to meet new friends. That can be fun and interesting, but, for your social life, it can only get you temporary friends in a temporary experience – at best.
If you want to build a social life that will be with you even in your busiest times of the year (when you’ll have no time to talk to new people), then I recommend that you stick with the town you live in, and invest all your “summer energy” in building a long-lasting social life.
The Challenge of Making Friends During Summer – The “Too Little Too Late Problem”
So when you’re thinking “It’s time to have me some fun! It’s time to get social, go to the beach, enjoy the sun, etc…” Sorry to say, but you have a problem. We all do: friendships take time to build. If you need friends in order to go out, and you haven’t been building them, it’s too little too late.
So the first thing to do is manage your expectations. Instead of thinking that “this summer is going to be the best and the most fun, because I’m going to meet new friends and do all kinds of fun things!!” …think that “this summer is going to be great because I’m going to build a social life that will keep growing from now on.”
Be conservative with your expectations. It’s very important. If you have unrealistic expectations, you’ll get discouraged quickly and maybe get very sad about it. Friendships just don’t take a few hours to be built, they take more than that. And if you want to have amazing experiences, you need to pick, choose, and meet a few people before you find the right ones.
So, at least now you know; commit to never putting off socializing until you absolutely need people with whom to go out. Start making friends before you need them.
A mantra for your social life: build it before you need it
The Advantage to Making Friends During Summer
Yes, there is some good news about making friends during summer.
Like any new season, or new episode in life, people get much more open to meeting new people and picking up new habits. See, if someone is in a tight cycle of habits, it can be hard to start meeting them, as they’ll have a hard time fitting new people in their lives.
But with new seasons, people open up for the new.
In summer, that effect is magnified. Even the busiest people start to realize that they better do something about their social lives. Some bust their behinds all year at work, and figure they deserve a little break now that summer is here – maybe it’s time to socialize and have fun.
Between us, that’s a lousy way to manage a social life. As I said, you need to be making friends way before you need company to enjoy the summer.
But still, that means more people are available and are up for some socializing – that’s good for you.
There also the people who recently broke up with friends or lovers. When the summer comes they start thinking “okay, time to turn the page and meet some new people.”
In other words – more potential friends for you. Good news!
Let’s Dive In With Some Action Steps
1. Summer Is The Perfect Time To Install The “Weekly Social Hour” Habit
To keep your social life alive, there are some actions that you have to keep doing. These are things like: following up with folks you just met, staying in touch with your existing friends and acquaintances, finding new activities to do with friends, and inviting people to hang out.
The main reason why people stop doing these things is that they get distracted and forget. By putting a weekly reminder on your calendar, you can never forget. You dramatically raise the chances for your social life to stay alive, and thrive.
Summer is the perfect time to install this habit, so do it now: put a weekly reminder in your calendar (Tuesday evening, preferably), call it something like the “Weekly Social Hour.”
2. Activate The Old Friends And Acquaintances
It’s time to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. You should be subtle here. Reconnect gradually, but don’t rush it. It doesn’t feel natural if you haven’t spoken for a while and then all of a sudden try to make plans and hang out.
Contact them maybe twice, with a week or so interval, then invite them to go do something. Give them time to think of you as well.
One thing to try: when you contact them, ask them about where they hang out; and say that it sounds great and that you should try and do the same. That will raise the chances for them inviting you to join.
3. Go To The Places Where People Are Looking For Friends
These opportunities are available all year. But in summer, it’s your opportunity to try as many of them as you like. It’s time to try any place that can possibly land you some new interesting friends.
One condition: go where other people are looking for friends as well.
All local events, community events, interest groups… everything that might work, you ought to try. Here are some examples of places to meet people (old article); and here is how to start a conversation and make friends.
PS: read this about where to go to meet people, too.
Anything that MIGHT get you new interesting friends, you ought to try.
4. Summer Dance/ Sports/Hobbies/Yoga Workshops
These are temporary summer workshops.
Summer dance or sports workshops are interesting: because they’re temporary, they attract casual users. The people who attend are interested, but not necessarily die-hard fans of that activity. They are very likely to be there just to meet new people – exactly like you, which is great.
5. Update Your Social Skills (of course)
Nothing is more exciting and motivating than an overall update to your making friends skills. As you learn new techniques and strategies to meet people, socialize, and make new friends, you’ll be tempted to go and apply it all, and see the results.
Wishing you a great summer!
– Paul Sanders